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2012 Stamp Issues

5th Jan 2012 - Olympics and Paralympics Stamp Booklet

Tues 10th Jan 2012 - Roald Dahl

20th January 2012, year of the Dragon, Smilers Sheet.

Thurs 2nd Feb 2012- The House of Windsor

6th February - Diamond Jubilee

Thurs 23rd Feb 2012 - Britons of Distinction

Thurs 8th March 2012 - Classic Locomotives of Scotland

Tuesday 20th March 2012 - Comics

Tuesday 10th April 2012 - UK A-Z Part 2

Tues 15th May 2012 - Great British Fashion

Thurs 31st May 2012 - The Diamond Jubilee

Tues 19th June 2012 - Charles Dickens

Tues 27th July 2012 - Olympic Games Welcome

Wed 29th August 2012 - Paralympic Games Welcome

Thurs 27th Sept 2012 - Olympic & Paralympic Games Memories

Tues 16th Oct 2012 - Dinosaurs

Tues 30th Oct 2012 - Space Science

Tues 6th Nov 2012 - Christmas


Charles Dickens

Issue Date - 19th June 2012


The Mint Stamps feature Mr. Bumble, Mr. Pickwick, The Marchioness, Mrs. Gamp, Captain Cuttle and Mr. Micawber; drawn in around 1890 by the artist Joseph Clayton Clark, also known as Kyd.


Mr Bumble, Mr Pickwick, The Marchioness, Mrs Gamp, Captain Cuttle and Mr Micawber illustrations from Character Sketches from Charles Dickens, c.1890 (colour litho), Joseph Clayton Clarke (Kyd) (fl. 1883–94)/ Private Collection/© Look and Learn/The Bridgeman Art Library.


Issue Products

Charles Dickens

Stamp Set


2nd Class - Mr Bumble from Oliver Twist

1st Cass - Mr Pickwick from The Pickwick Papers

77p - The Little Marchioness from The Old Curiosity Shop

87p - Mrs Gamp from Martin Chuzzlewit

£1.28 - Captain Cuttle from Dombey and Son

£1.90 - Mr Micawber from David Copperfield

Dickens Miniature Sheet

Miniature Sheet

The stamps in the miniature sheet will all be 1st class:.

Nicholas Nickleby, Bleak House, Little Dorrit and A Tale of Two Cities.

Dickens 2nd

2nd Class – Mr Bumble – Oliver Twist

Mr Bumble is the parish beadle who removes the nine-year-old Oliver Twist from the baby farm and takes him to the workhouse where he is put to work picking oakham. Whenever he opens his mouth Bumble mangles whatever he tries to say.


Dickens 1st

1st Class – Mr Pickwick – The Pickwick Papers

Samuel Pickwick, Esquire, is a kind and wealthy old gentleman, and the founder and perpetual president of the Pickwick Club. To extend his researches into the quaint and curious phenomena of life, he suggests that he and three other “Pickwickians” (Mr Nathaniel Winkle, Mr Augustus Snodgrass, and Mr Tracy Tupman) should make journeys to remote places from London and report on their findings to the other members of the club. Their travels throughout the English countryside by coach provide the chief theme of the novel.

Dickens 77p

77p – The Marchioness – The Old Curiosity Shop

The Marchioness is the nickname given to the wicked Miss Brass’s maidservant by Dick Swiveller, who befriends and later marries her. In the original manuscript it is made explicit that the Marchioness is in fact the illegitimate daughter of Miss Brass, possibly by the novel’s villain Quilp, but only a suggestion of this survived in the published edition.

Dickens 87p

87p – Mrs Gamp – Martin Chuzzlewitt

Sarah or Sairey Gamp was a nurse. She was dissolute and drunk and became a notorious stereotype of the bad secular nurse in the early Victorian era, before the reforms of campaigners like Florence Nightingale. The caricature was popular with the British public and umbrellas became known as gamps after her own which was displayed with “particular ostentation”. The character was based upon a real nurse described to Dickens by his friend, Angela Burdett-Coutts.

Dickens 128p

£1.28 – Captain Cuttle – Dombey and Son

Captain Edward Cuttle is left in charge of The Midshipman, Solomon Gill’s maritime instrument maker’s shop, when Soloman goes off in search of his nephew Walter Gay. Dombey’s daughter, Florence later lodges with Cuttle at The Midshipman when she runs away from her father.

Dickens 190p

£1.90 – Mr Micawber – David Copperfield

Wilkins Micawber was modelled on Dickens’s father, John Dickens, who like Micawber was incarcerated in a debtors’ prison after failing to meet his creditors’ demands. Micawber’s long-suffering wife, Emma, stands by him despite his financial exigencies that force her to pawn all of her family’s heirlooms. Micawber is hired as a clerk by the scheming Uriah Heep, who assumes wrongly that Micawber’s debts arise from his dishonesty. But working for Heep allows Micawber to expose his boss as a forger and a cheat. To start anew, Micawber and his family emigrate to Australia with Daniel Peggotty and Little Em’ly, where Micawber becomes manager of the Port Middlebay Bank and a successful government magistrate.

Nicholas Nickleby

1st Class: Nicholas Nickleby -

Nicholas takes his cane to the bullying headmaster of Dotherboys Hall Whackford Squeers, illustration by Hablot Knight Browne from Nicholas Nickleby.

Bleak House

1st Class: Bleak House -

Mrs Bagnet is charmed with Mr Bucket.

Little Dorrit

1st Class: Little Dorrit -

Amy Dorrit introduces Maggy, the grand-daughter of her old nurse, to Arthur Clennam outside Marshalsea Debtor’s Prison

Tale of two Cities

1st Class: A Tale of Two Cities -

Charles Darnay is arrested by the French Revolutionaries


Technical Details

The 27 x 37mm stamps were designed by Howard Brown and printed by Cartor Security Printing, Meaucé, France, in lithography. The illustrations are taken from Character Sketches from Charles Dickens, by Joseph Clayton Clarke (otherwise known as Kyd) which was originally published around 1890.
The 190 x 67mm Miniature Sheet features illustrations by Hablot Knight Brown (known as Phiz) that were used to illustrate Dickens’s novels when they were originally published.  The stamps are each 37 x 35mm, printed by Cartor Security Printing, Meaucé, France, in lithography, perf 14 x 14½.
All images copyright Royal Mail ©2012.

A copy of the Special Handstamps for this issue can be viewed here.






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